In a day and time when Superman, the Avengers, and several more of our beloved childhood “heroes” remain a fascination, not many people consider themselves heroes. However, sometimes circumstances call on average men and women to perform in heroic ways.
During the May 7, 2013 meeting of the Jacksonville City Council, several local heroes were honored—some for the job they do every day, and some for caring enough to do something they have never done before—save another man’s life.
One of those “unlikely” heroes, John Scott, is the husband of Treasure Realty’s own, Ana Scott (pictured left). Ana is our long term rentals manager, and needless to say, she is very proud of her husband!
On the afternoon of March 14, 2013, John and his construction crew were working adjacent to Western Boulevard, when they saw a school bus “going out of control” on the highway. Inside, bus driver, Bill Hemby, had passed out at the wheel. Fortunately, another DODDS employee, Patrica Acuna, was on the bus at the time. Ms. Acuna was able to guide the bus across four lanes of traffic and on to the roadside near Camp Lejeune’s main gate.
She was quickly met by John and Navy corpsman, Jeremy Jones, (both pictured below) who had also noticed the drifting bus. These men pulled Mr. Hemby off of the bus and started performing CPR on him. By the time JPD Officer, Tommie Thomas arrived on the scene, MCCS employee, Loretta Brand, and Camp Lejeune EMS/FF Jarrod Kuhnly were also assisting in the effort to save the victim’s life.
Officer Thomas was able to step in and relieve John, who had been administering rescue breathing to Mr. Hemby. With John’s help, Officer Thomas also utilized an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) to try to stimulate the victim’s heart, but to no avail. John and the others continued CPR until first responders arrived.
Once Mr. Hemby was in the care of emergency personnel, John went back to work, though not unmoved by the experience. Initially, it looked like the patient was not going to recover, but John was relieved to learn later that he had survived and was improving. When asked what compelled him to get involved, John responded, “I have two children, a family I love, and a father and a father-in-law who are close to [Mr. Hemby’s] age; I couldn’t imagine not helping him.”
According to Jacksonville Mayor, Sammy Phillips, “The immediate response and life sustaining efforts by the [five] civilians, JPD Officer and JFD Fire Personnel resulted in the victim regaining consciousness. Their actions resulted in preventing a tragedy and are very worthy of the Civilian Commendation Award and the Life Saving Award.” (Those receiving awards are pictured below with Mr. Hemby at center.)
Mr. Hemby seemed delighted to be in attendance for the presentation of these awards. He hugged and personally thanked everyone involved. Afterward, Mayor Phillips invited Mr. Hemby to share. He expressed his appreciation to the heroes –especially to those who were first on the scene and “worked real hard” to keep him alive. There were few dry eyes in the room when Mr. Hemby exclaimed, “They said I was dead, but you’re looking at me tonight; I’m not dead. I praise God for that!”
Perhaps some would say that the events of March 14, 2013 were miraculous. John Scott believes that Mr. Hemby’s life “was a special miracle because he had such a long time of not responding to our CPR! We gave air to his brain and organs, but he and God did all the rest.”
Looking back on that day, John remarked that “there were a number of people who each had an important role in helping him. There were multiple factors that played into his life being saved, and I feel it was all God’s plan. I am humbled and glad to have been a part of it.” Whether or not we believe in miracles, like John says, “it is amazing how much we can help others if we are willing.”
(Unlikely hero, John Scott, pictured above with Mr. Bill Hemby)